Of course, the well-publicized crime spree in the neighborhood that’s been happening over the past month or two has been nothing if not disturbing. But frankly, it’s also been a little confusing. Could a neighborhood as popular, family-friendly, and wildly expensive as Greenpoint really be on such a significant downward slide? Well, yes and no.
Greenpointers helpfully sifted through NYPD data, and the picture it paints isn’t great, but it’s also not irreparably terrible. Crime in most categories besides robbery (which has dropped by 22 percent) has gone up a bit from the same time last year, including grand larceny (up 11 percent), burglary (up 1 percent), assault (up 36 percent), rape (up 60 percent, from 5 incidents last year to 8 this year), and murder, which has shot up 100 percent—at this point in 2012 the neighborhood had seen zero murders, and so far this year there’s been one.
Though it’s nice to know that the man allegedly responsible for the bulk of the neighborhood’s reported sexual assaults has since been caught, the real self-soothing mechanism here is the comparison Greenpointers provides between this year’s relatively heightened crime stats and how things stood in 1993. In every category other than rape—which is currently at the exact same level—it’s clear how much better things have gotten over the past two decades. Burglary rates used to be ten times as high as they are now, there were five times as many robberies, nine times as many murders. Not to say that the current spike is anything other than worrisome—and that residents and visitors alike should be extra careful to look out for their personal safety—but a dose of perspective is still pretty comforting. That, and the fact that the neighborhood’s mocking problem seems to be under control. For now, at least.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.